Bizarre to say key to nuclear-free Korea lies solely with the US

Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi has unfortunately omitted some key facts about Korean War history (North Korea's actions all aimed at self protection; Sept 7).

Chief among this is his failure to mention that the North's invasion of the South was abetted by its ideological allies- China and, to a lesser extent, the then Soviet Union - in their joint bid to transform the Korean Peninsula into a sea of communist red during the Cold War.

The three-year-long war was devastating to the two Koreas.

Yet Mr Chan painted the North Koreans only as victims - and of American aggression no less - even though he acknowledged their instigation of the conflict.

Just as odd is his assertion of US victory.

Had that occurred, it is plausible that Mr Kim Jong Un would not even exist today to direct the firing of missiles over the airspace of North-east Asia from Pyongyang, heightening the decades-long tense situation across the 38th Parallel between two countries which are technically still at war.

That the Kim dynasty has spanned a third generation to rule over North Korea is due in no small part to the strong support shown by China for its so-called ally and territorial buffer over the years.

For Mr Chan to conclude that the key to a "nuclear-free" Korean Peninsula lies solely with the US is naive and utterly incredulous in the context of his call to the Americans to accept the North Korean regime's acquisition and development of a nuclear arsenal for its own survival.

Does South Korea, which had in the past reached out to its northern brethren in detente, own any nuclear arms to protect itself?

When he says that the two Koreas must co-exist peacefully, does it include condoning the highly provocative acts of shooting dangerous weapons over the territories of one's neighbours?

Toh Cheng Seong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2017, with the headline 'Bizarre to say key to nuclear-free Korea lies solely with the US'. Print Edition | Subscribe